The Wire Fox Terriers

The Wire Haired Fox Terrier has the same essential characteristics as the Smooth Fox Terrier.

The Wire Fox Terriers

He was bred for the same purpose, to go to the ground after the fox and bolt him for the hounds. He is a natural killer of small game and has all the courage necessary for his work.

Some think that “Wires” are rather too aggressive. This is mainly due to a lack of early training because all dogs can be taught to behave if taken in hand from the start.

The main trouble appears to be that these terriers look so smart standing at attention when facing other dogs that their owners are inclined to become lost in admiration of them and fail to check too aggressive tendencies.

They have few equals as sharp watchdogs around the home and are true “foxies” from the point of view of boys’ companions.

They are ever ready for a romp or hunt, can hold their own in excellent fashion with other dogs and are very hardy.

Wire Haired Fox Terriers have reached an excellent show standard in all parts of Australia. High-class imports from Great Britain and New Zealand have kept improving our stock.

Many consider that like the Irish Setter, he often scores out of turn by his appeal.

For all that, Wires are generally of a high standard and those which go to the top would do so without that added touch of glamor.

The standard of the Wire Haired Fox Terrier is similar to that of the smooth in all respects.

A long, lean head, flat skull, close-fitting drop ears, well set up on the skull, small round eyes which must be very dark in color and absolute freedom from coarseness.

The jaw is long and powerful with good strong, level teeth, although with the Wire, a suggestion of added strength is given to the muzzle by his characteristic “whiskers.”

These can be too long, but a good, crisp furnishing of up to two inches in length can and does give “finish” to a good head. They are trimmed very carefully and brushed forward as are the eyebrows. The rest of the head, skull, cheeks, ears and throat are trimmed closely.

The neck is long, well arched and sets into fine sloping shoulders. Forelegs are straight, round and the dog stands on deep, well-cushioned feet.

Here again, a suggestion of added strength is given by a dense growth of harsh hair on the legs. These are brushed and combed up very carefully to give an appearance of complete roundness and strength.

The body is short and compact with a straight back, well set on the tail which is cut at about half its natural length.

The hindquarters are solid, with well-turned stifles and the dog moves straight forward with hocks turning neither inwards nor outwards. The hindquarters and underparts carry rather more hair than the rest of the body to give the appearance of added strength.

The coat is a double — the outer coat is crisp, dense and harsh in texture. A slight wave is permissible and usually indicates good texture.

The undercoat is soft, dense, short and oily. It is a real weather resisting coat and the breed can stand up to all sorts of weather as a result.

Oversize was rather prevalent in Wire Haired Fox Terriers a few years ago. Breeders were striving to produce longer heads and type suffered somewhat as a consequence.

However, the present-day Wire is true to type and size and most of the good ones, would fall into the 16-18 pound category, given as the desired weight in the official standard.

Color is the usual Fox Terrier color, although “hound marked” terriers find most favor with show people.

The head is usually tan, with white body color carrying black patches.

Black and white, or tan and white, are quite in order as are all white specimens. White should predominate in all cases.

It will be noticed that the “black” patches go grey in many dogs. This usually occurs when the hair is clipped or cut with a razor instead of being “stripped” out — plucked out by the roots as the coat goes “dead.”


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Hannah Elizabeth is an English animal behavior author, having written for several online publications. With a degree in Animal Behaviour and over a decade of practical animal husbandry experience, Hannah's articles cover everything from pet care to wildlife conservation. When she isn't creating content for blog posts, Hannah enjoys long walks with her Rottweiler cross Senna, reading fantasy novels and breeding aquarium shrimp.

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